Tour tech: New Time road machine
By James Huang | Friday, July 25, 2008 3.40pm
The Bouygues Telecom team was spotted with Time's new RXR Ulteam amidst the sea of standard RXS Ulteam bikes. James Huang
Bouygues Telecom’s Time RXR Ulteam
The French Bouygues Telecom team has among its quiver a new RXR Ulteam road machine from Time. Visually speaking, the RXR Ulteam is somewhat of a hybrid of the existing VXRS Ulteam road and RXR time trial frames: the seat tube wears a deep aero profile with a wheel-hugging cutout, the top tube and down tube adopt a more triangular shape and the frame in general is more tightly creased.
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Time reportedly continues to use its RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) manufacturing technique for the new RXR Ulteam but has supposedly toned down the stiffness somewhat relative to the VXRS, partially to make up for the deeper tube profiles. The 1000g claimed frame weight is also a bit heavier than VXRS’ 915g figure but still plenty light, plus its slippery shape might actually be faster on the road.
Even so, this new model seems to be spending more time on top of the team car than on the road. Given how few of them we spotted, we’re guessing the team might want to log some more testing time before relying on it in major events.
Up top there’s the familiar integrated seatmast although Time has fitted the RXR with a new carbon two-bolt head (with titanium hardware) that provides 3cm of height adjustment. The front derailleur braze-on mount is height-adjustable as well for use with standard or compact cranksets.
What the new RXR Ulteam won’t be, however, is inexpensive; projected retail cost is said to be in the neighborhood of €3999 although that will at least include the accompanying fork, headset, stem and seatpost head.
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